The best players from Lille OSC have slowly been plucked away by Premier League teams (mostly), and it looks like Arsenal are trying to continue that trend in their attempts to sign Dimitri Payet.
Arsenal themselves signed one of Lille’s historic championship heroes, Gervinho, in 2011, although it’s not quite clear if they’re actually pleased about that signing. Payet is another winger, who has been with Lille for only two seasons after joining from Saint-Ettiene in 2011, who prefers playing on the left side and move to the middle with his left foot.
He had a brilliant season in 2012-2013, scoring 12 goals and adding 18 assists as he led Lille to a surprising sixth place finish, still managing to hang around near the top of the table despite the constant outgoing line of their best players, which saw Eden Hazard leave the team to Chelsea.
Payet is signed until 2015 at the club, which means that now might be a good time to sell the 26-year old for the highest value, estimated at £15 million. Arsenal have played with Lukas Podolski mostly on the left side, but that is changeable as Arsene Wenger made quite a lot of tweaks and changes in his lineup and scheme over the season, sometimes playing without a true winger on the left side at all.
Payet was called up in 2010 to play for the national team, making his debut, but since those two appearances, it seems he’s been forgotten until recently, now reaching five caps for Les Bleus, appearing recently in the 3-0 loss to Brazil.
Payet has been one of the most exciting players in Ligue 1 over the last three seasons, combining to score 30 goals and add 34 assists during that time, which might be the last he performs in the French League, who can’t hold on to its best players for very long unless PSG or Monaco are willing to intervene and offer him a spot on their squads.